Valley Delegates React to RNC Changes

September 1, 2008 7:45:16 PM PDT
The opening day of the GOP'S National Convention in St. Paul was overshadowed by hurricane Gustav slamming into the Gulf coast. Republicans dramatically toned down the normally festive event shifting the focus from politics to public service. Fred Vanderhoof, chairman of Fresno County's Republican Party said, "So the whole convention has turned into how to assist the people in the Gulf States. So this is a time for service, a time for action."

Vanderhoof doesn't believe the hurricane will dilute the party's message or mission during the convention. "I don't think so. I don't think it's diminished at all. This is a time for action not speeches."

Former California Secretary of State Bill Jones is John McCain's California campaign chairman. He's been in the Twin Cities all weekend and says things at the convention have been changing hour by hour with all eyes on the unpredictable storm. He said, "I think we're going to have a great convention but we're going to have a respectful one with direction from the Senator which is service above self. That's always been his motto."

Jones says John McCain has enough momentum and doesn't need the pomp and circumstance that comes with the national convention. "We would love to have the President and Vice-President here but they're doing what they're supposed to be doing when you have a national tragedy like the one developing in the Gulf Coast. Clearly, they are where they need to be and we are where we need to be."

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